For today’s LSU football practice report, LSU head coach Brian Kelly talked to the media and gave a couple of updates as the team heads into their first scrimmage in Tiger Stadium on Saturday. The biggest question heading into today was the status of Denver Harris and Kelly addressed his status at the beginning of the press conference.
That is good news considering as there were a lot of questions surrounding Harris as he did not practice with the team this week and was absent from the team picture. With guys like Harris and JK Johnson, who has been out because of injury, it has given guys like Zy Alexander, Duce Chestnut, Ashton Stamps, and even Andre Sam at safety chances to improve their stock on the depth chart.
The media was out there for less than an hour, but the biggest takeaway was that Maason Smith is still lingering a little bit today after he limped off after participating in a 1v1 drill against the offensive line. Coach Kelly talks about Smith’s health as he continues to recover full-time from his torn ACL suffered last year against Florida State.
Although Smith’s lingering minor injuries are something to monitor, the defensive line as a whole has gotten deeper. Despite the losses of BJ Ojulari and Ali Gaye, Coach Kelly has been pleased with the depth at the ends as I asked Coach Kelly about it during the press conference.
“You mentioned Ovie, but Bradyn Swinson has done a nice job on third downs for us. He has been a great pass rusher for us. The combination of those two guys has been really nice for us. Paris Shand is coming on as a compliment to Saivion Jones. Saivion has been outstanding. We like the edges in terms of what is moving forward for us. Some of the young players are coming on including Womack and Wiggins. They are making progress and we got some good depth at the defensive tackle position. We are happy with the progress we are making there. Coach Jancek has done a really nice job and looking for that unit to have a good season.”LSU Head Coach Brian Kelly on pass rushing standouts
Bradyn Swinson has come on in the last couple of practices and has showcased his pass rushing skills during 1v1 with offensive linemen and 11v11 in practice. The Oregon transfer has looked strong along with some other newcomers at the position.
Switching to the offensive line, the front five is in good shape, but so is the depth at the offensive line as the two deep is starting to take form during the middle of fall camp.
The offensive line is deep, which also helps a deep running back room with a lot of options. Even though there are a lot of options, it is beneficial for the coaching staff to have those options as for the third straight practice, had a couple of running backs limited today during practice.
With Armoni Goodwin, Logan Diggs, and Josh Williams being limited, it was Noah Cain and Tre Bradford getting most of the first team carries in practice. The wide receivers looked strong again in practice as they have done so all through fall camp. Malik Nabers has highlight reel plays everyday in practice and today was no exception as he had two touchdowns in the red zone today. Nabers is expected to be the team’s WR1 this fall and has treated the offseason as such.
“It is his mindset. His skill level has always been there. When I talk about his mindset, it was his ability to come out there every single day, maintain his emotions, and focus on what is most important. That is being at his best during practice and not being distracted by anything. I thought at times got distracted and was on the peripheral of how he came to practice. He had some ups and downs. This year, very little to no distractions has put him in a position where his practicing has been very consistent at a high level. If he stays at that level, it eliminates the distractions and he is in line to do some special things.”LSU HC Brian Kelly on Malik Nabers
A player that is capable of showing off his special abilities in the return game is Aaron Anderson. There were some limitations at punt returner last fall, but this year, the former five star from Edna Karr is certainly expected to make some big noise at punt returner.
“Aaron Anderson is as comfortable as a punt returner that I’ve seen. We got some work to do on kickoff returns, but he is back there too. We will see how that goes and we will spend a little bit more time on that in the next couple of days.”LSU HC Brian Kelly on Aaron Anderson
The last time that the media will get the chance to have access to fall practice is on Saturday when the Tigers get to scrimmage in Tiger Stadium. Coach Kelly gave an idea of what the scrimmage will look like as we get closer.
When it comes into working a depth chart, Coach Kelly is not worried about it as practices and scrimmages such as the one on Saturday are opportunities for them to earn their right up the depth chart.
“My experience is when you put out a depth chart, you can become really selfish or really upset. We just kind of love to go out and compete every day. It’s going to take care of itself when we get into the season.”LSU Head Coach Brian Kelly on depth charts
We are getting closer to football season as is less than three weeks away from when the Tigers take on Florida State in a top 10 matchup.
The next LSU practice report will be on Saturday as the Tigers will scrimmage in Tiger Stadium. Saturday will be a great indicator about where the offensive and defensive units are at in this stage of fall camp.
Click below to read earlier LSU fall practice reports.